Announcing 11 changes to the Best Cat Foods page

Is it dinner time yet? No?    …How ’bout now?     …Now?

 

You asked for it, you got it: a big update to Today’s Best Cat foods page.

Sometimes I think keeping up with the changing cat food landscape could be a full-time job. Which is why I’m thankful to all of you who have commented with questions, suggestions, and information about various foods, and for a nice woman named Bobbi who helped me gather up a ton of research and format more room in the tables on the Best Cat foods page.

My main concern with cat food is how it affects:

To me, these issues are even more important than the quality and source of the micro-ingredients in a food and who manufactures the food. Of course, I would never use a cat food created in China, but high quality pet food canning plants are few and far between even in the US. Now, there are some small ingredients I’ve taken a great interest in – such as carrageenan and BPA. This is because there may be life-threatening problems associated with these substances if they are consumed regularly over time. On the other hand, people ask about a lot of ingredients, like guar gum, that are not – to my knowledge thus far – known to be a big risk.

I think it’s easy, out of concern for your cat, to lose sight of the forest for the trees. So for me it’s about minimizing risk while keeping my higher priorities (above) in perspective and making sure we have enough good options to choose from.

Ok, let’s get to it!

Nine wet cat foods have been added

More options for you and your cats! These are the new foods you’ll now see on the Today’s Best Cat foods page, all grain-free and carrageenan-free:

ADDED TO FIRST PLACE

  • Ziwipeak canned – Lots of good things to say about this food, and they removed the carrageenan!
  • Impulse by Halo canned – US ingredients, includes a Quail formula (good novel protein)
  • Holistic Select Grain-Free canned – Ingredients from US, Germany, and New Zealand
  • Wild Calling canned – Ingredients sourced in the US; very low carb, affordable*

ADDED TO SECOND PLACE (see Today’s Best Cat foods page for the reasons these are in second place):

  • FirstMate Limited Ingredient canned
  • Party Animal canned
  • Feline Caviar wet food **
  • Merrick LIMITED INGREDIENT canned***
  • ORGANIX Grain-Free canned – Organic ingredients; made in USA; GMO-free***

*Readers have reported a rumor (not confirmed as yet) that Wild Calling uses the Evanger’s Illinois plant for canning their formulas. Personally, I don’t consider this a big risk, but some are uncomfortable with it. In 2010, Evangers was found by the FDA to be using dishonest practices in their own formulas. While this is appalling, it had nothing to do with their plant’s canning of other small brands. And, it has been corrected. In my opinion, this food has too many good features to overlook because they need to use one on of the few available US pet food canning plants (Evangers) to package their food.

**In 2nd place because  uses the Evanger’s Illinois plant for canning their formulas. Personally, I don’t consider this a big risk, but some are uncomfortable with it. (See my note above.)

***In 2nd place because Merrick was bought by Purina in 2015. They say the company will still operate independently with no changes. The takeover process will take many months. For these reasons, I would say the product is probably still fine for now, but after 2016, let’s revisit what’s happening with Merrick and the quality of its ingredients.

Remember, check Today’s Best Cat foods page for all the reasons each of these are in second place.

Two cat foods moved UP from the 2nd tier to the first tier

Here’s what moved up and why:

  • Weruva Cats in the Kitchen pouches – A good GMO-free food with simple ingredients; moved up because no longer contains starches.
  • Nature’s Variety Instinct LID (Limited Ingredient) canned – Another good GMO-free food with simple ingredients, manufactured in the US. Moved up because the Montmorillonite Clay in the product is tested to be toxin-free. According to Nature’s Variety: “Our vendor tests the Montmorillonite Clay used in our diets for toxins and it is guaranteed toxin-free.” 

And a few foods that didn’t make it

A few grain-free wet foods I examined didn’t quite make the cut. Here they are (with the primary “why” in parentheses):

 

As I always say, none of these foods are perfect, but they met my “best of” criteria. Bear in mind though that every cat has different needs, just like you and I do, so what’s great for one cat may not be so grand for another.

Check out images of the best cat foods (which helps when you’re at the store) and more details about them on Today’s Best Cat foods.

From our cats to yours: Bon appetit!

A note about changes earlier in the year: A couple other small changes occurred earlier this year… Hound & Gatos was removed under false pretense, then added back to list: the vitamin D2 showing on some of their can labels turned out to be a (unfortunate) misprint. Bravo was removed because they aren’t currently making a raw cat food product guaranteed to meet AAFCO minimum nutrient level guidelines; at this time their raw cat food requires extra supplements to be sufficient for your cat.

66 Responses to Announcing 11 changes to the Best Cat Foods page

  1. cindy murphy February 6, 2018 at 12:26 pm #

    Hi , this comment is in response to Natures Variety Instinct lid food’s vendor proclaiming that the Montmorillonite Clay being non toxic.. how are they guaranteeing this statement? Where is the proof of this? There word alone is not good enough as I have heard of some fatal illnesses as the result of cats eating their product with this ingredient included. And they changed the name to disguise this ingredient at one point…so how can this statement be fact?

  2. james July 16, 2017 at 8:12 pm #

    KOHA has BPA in the can liner …I confirmed this with the company…twice

  3. Janice June 15, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

    I have been buying Wild Calling Rabbit Burrow as it is virtually carb free, but I am surprised that Wild Calling in general is described as very low carb. Some of their foods are over 14% carbs, which seems high in my books. Is there a consensus on what is “low” for carbs?

  4. Mary C May 24, 2017 at 8:19 am #

    I give my2 Ragdolls Weruva cats in the kitchen canned in the am, which they love. I give them Darwins raw in the pm. They have an introductory offer, one time only of 10lbs , for $14. It has been rated in the # 1 category and can be bought through the company and now Amazon but cheaper through the company. They carry chicken, turkey and duck formulas.

    • Donna May 25, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

      Thanks! 🙂 We ended up going with a small can of Tiki in the am, and Primal salmon/chicken at night. The Rad Cat just wasn’t in the budget, unfortunately. I’ve heard good stuff about Darwins, but I can’t find it locally like I can Primal. And once you add on the express shipping it just gets too costly.

  5. Donna April 27, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

    We’ve been feeding our 8 year old Instinct Raw Market freeze dried chicken at night, and a variety of cans in the morning. Some Merrick, Instinct, occasionally a can of Applaws as a treat meal. He’s tough to shop for as he flat out refuses any brand of pate, no matter the flavor.

    I want to switch him over to raw, (And wean out the freeze dried Instinct. Which he loves, and looks great on, but I think raw would be even better for him) and picked up samples of Primal and Rad Cat today from a local shop. I know Primal has 7% fruits and veggies, which from what I understand would be better avoided. And Rad doesn’t. Just Rad is SO much more expensive. Unfortunately, we’d still need to feed cans in the morning, as he is a horribly slow eater sometimes and raw can’t be left out long in the bowl.

    Is there any great canned foods left, that are not pate? And assuming he likes both Primal and Rad, would it be ok for him to go with the Primal versus the Rad due to the cost diff? Thanks!

  6. Holly Mascaro April 4, 2017 at 12:17 pm #

    Interesting! We have recently gotten really into researching the best food to switch to; have been feeding regular Merrick grain free for a few years but figured I should look into it and really know what they’re getting and get the best/know why, if I’m going to aim for some really good food. Have narrowed down between Wild Calling; Earthborn; and Red Barn (once we do some taste-testing to make sure the cats are on board). Any insights are welcome! I’m also curious still about at least freeze-dried, if not raw – may not be able to do raw all the way yet but was looking at Primal freeze-dried. Any insight appreciated! Was trying to be as healthy as possible while still not breaking the bank (e.g. Ziwipeak).

  7. Ted February 14, 2017 at 2:22 am #

    My best choice is Nature’s Variety Instinct LID. This is a high quality cat food with the correct balance of nutrients and moisture. The food seems to have a nice gravy so the moisture content is good. And it is safe for old cat with kidney failure and need special kidney diet.

  8. Janice January 9, 2017 at 8:19 am #

    Organix can food has dextrose. Isn’t this bad for cats?

  9. Jan September 26, 2016 at 5:30 pm #

    I saw an ad for BLUE dry food. What does anyone think about the Indoor Health formula – was using a Purina brand product and was looking to switch to something healthier. Found this website! So happy.

  10. Michelle L. Amrine July 12, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    Any update on Merrick???

  11. jeanne April 29, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    Hi what does everyone think about Fussie Cat brand cat food?

    • Katie July 17, 2016 at 11:24 am #

      I just looked into Fussie Cat, and unfortunately it contains tapioca starch, a fructose based sweetener, and potato starch.

      • Jo November 30, 2016 at 8:43 pm #

        Hi.
        Though, my cats loved Fussie Cat..I certainly didn’t after I learned of Carrangeen!!..& that it was in ALL Fussie Cat flavors/labels I checked.:(

  12. Anita L. April 9, 2016 at 4:47 pm #

    Hi again. I meant I’d like my cat to try Halo Impulse and Ziwipeak, not the carrageenan and agar-agar. 🙂 If agar-agar is actually okay for cats to have in their food, please let me know. Thanks!

    • EffieA. April 9, 2016 at 5:01 pm #

      To clarify or correct above comment I posted just recently, I meant go! cat canned Duck sensitivity brand as being one of the varieties I get 🙂

      • Anita L. April 9, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

        Effie, thank you so much for all the great info! I’ve been spending so much time and trips to stores trying to find something. He’s been on prescription food (originally on Science Diet W/D and now on Royal Canin SO) as a numbr of years ago he developed struvite crystals. However, I discovered that these past two years he’s also been eating Fancy Feast or similar at a store across the street (he’s an indoor-outdoor cat) he visits daily. No crystals so far. Still, I’d like to move him from the ‘scrip food as it’s pretty much nothing but grains and filler. I’ll definitely check out chewy.com Sounds pretty amazing company and policy. They certainly do want to keep loyal customers. My friend suggested ziwipeak, but I just wasn’t sure about the agar-agar. Go!cat also looks good. Again, thanks.

  13. Anita L. April 9, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

    Halo Impulse has agar-agar in it, which is similar to carrageenan. Same for Ziwipeak. They replaced the carrageenan with agar-agar. So although I’d like to try using either of these, I don’t want my cat to eat it until I know for absolute certainty agar-agar is perfectly fine for cats. Anyone have info on this?

    • Effie A. April 9, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

      Yes, some have addressed this as they say although similar different breakdown chemically or processing and doesn’t have really any negative affects as according to Dr. Mercola and so on, and I notice my cat is faring so well to ziwipeak’s lamb/rabbit, venison, and beef (whenever I open them, I take off the gelatinly like layer before feeding my blue wedgie lion. Also, I get cat duck sensitivity and lotus brands (no fish or chicken or grains, corn etc..) as some suggest it can help with the digestive issues as well have less to no allergetic outcomes, if still concerned- you can consider lotus although pricey but has no gums and so forth, I only get the just juicy turkey stew and just juicy pork variety from lotus. My cat no longer has allergies or any other issues, so I’m thankful finally! I suggest trying by chewy.com as they have a very liberal return policy as whatever doesn’t work for you you can call them up to return (365 days or one year return limit-amazing I know), yet they always told me to keep and donate and refunded me, I simply kept trying varieties- wild calling didn’t work, tiki didn’t work, hounds and gatos, primal raw, so you can see lots of brands try outs that didn’t hurt my pockets thanks to chewy.com. The local pet shelters were very happy to have the donations. Thus, as stated above- ziwipeak, lotus, and go duck were the ones that worked out. If you want to go a bit lower budget wise- I heard nature variety cans have great ratings too. Good luck

  14. Yohanna February 2, 2016 at 10:27 pm #

    Hello Liz,
    I adopted a sweet cat Fantomette in September, and rightaway searching for natural cat care resources and found yours! Being a cancer patient in 2011 set me to explore and depend more on natural healing. What do you think about Whole Earth Farm? I noticed there are 4 kinds of gums in the ingredients, but no carrageenan. I don’ t feel iffy about agar-agar because I am from Indonesia and that’s part of our healthy “human” diet. But the other gums, are they that bad? Guar, xantan and locust gums?
    I found this canned food quite affordable, made in USA, no carrageenan, plus it does not make my Tomette puke… I actually alternate the food with Instinct chicken or beef, and Lotus chicken and salmon, or Halo from time to time. I am still not confident giving him totally raw… So I started giving them the Instinct freeze dried topper (chicken and rabbit). Thank you for your amazing blog!

    • Effie A. February 2, 2016 at 11:24 pm #

      Have you tried lotus just turkey stew as well as just pork as they don’t contain any fish ingredients in which too much fish can be bad for cats. There is nature variety which is well known as well as highly rated and not so expensive. I do ziwipeak canned, they are also highly rated brand and my Stoney loves all the varieties by them.

  15. Lorenzo January 2, 2016 at 7:46 am #

    HI Liz, I’m new to your blog and I think it’s great. I checked Nulo’s website and they list their canned cat food (chicken) with D3 not D2. Interestingly, I checked a can I purchased last month and it is listed having D2. Nulo must have recently changed it to Vit D3. Not sure if you are aware of this and if this warrants a consideration to bump up Nulo’s a tier on your list. Thanks again.

  16. Roberta Olson December 14, 2015 at 5:57 am #

    My cat loved Organix canned chicken but when I checked the label it had dextrose as an ingredient. This can only be harmful. right?
    The other food my cat likes is Wellness Core canned chicken. I am worried about the cranberries on the ingredient list. I have read that berries cause digestive problems.

    • Lisa December 14, 2015 at 7:22 am #

      Keep an eye out for several new canned foods, Natural Planet Organics. The food currently contains carrageenan, however, per my email to NPO, they are removing the carrageenan with new labels coming soon:

      Turkey Dinner

      Organic Turkey, Organic Turkey Liver, Organic Turkey Broth, Organic Flaxseed Oil (natural source of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids), Organic Sunflower Oil (natural source of Omega 6 fatty acids), Calcium Carbonate, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement), Carrageenan, Choline Chloride, Sea Salt, Taurine, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate), Tricalcium Phosphate, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide (an organic compound of Iodine), Sodium Selenite.

      http://naturalplanetorganics.com/index.php/our-pet-food/natural-planet-organics/canned-recipes/26-our-pet-food/natural-planet-organics/canned-recipes/canned-cat

      Response to my email:

      The carrageenan has been removed from all our canned formulas. We have ordered new labeling and as they come up for processing they will have the new label and will not contain carrageenan. It should be already out of the Natural Planet Organic, I have been waiting to hear back from them but I thought you would like to know the plan.

      http://www.nutrisourcepetfoods.com

      http://www.naturalplanetorganics.com

      Also, check out Bravo’s new line of canned food, Bravo Feline Cafe, below the ingredients for each food there is a link for country of origin for the ingredient sourcing:

      http://www.bravopetfoods.com/cat_canned.html

  17. Julia December 11, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

    I am surprised that evo, Acana and orijen did not make the list. I am a new cat owner trying to find the best food for my 5 month old kitten. She poops way to often and is smelly. She is on Whole Earth grain free kitten formula but I was thinking of switching her to canned food as she doesn’t drink much water.

    • Effie A. December 11, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

      I think because they are dried food and may have certain fillers, grains, inadequate or wrong vitamins, carbs, and all, don’t worry it is normal for kittens to have numerous bowels and they will be smelly as they eat a lot at that stage and any transitioning of food brands or variety will cause digestive gas, etc.., my cat farted a lot when he was a kitten and pooped two-three times a day lol. I think because they are still growing and at the time he had some dry food before transitioning to wet food. The wet food is the best way to go as it helps with their moisture content among other stuff and now he is 20 months and he usually goes one time a day in number two, urinates at least 5 times due to moisture content but fares so well on wet food.

  18. Joanne Davis October 30, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

    I have been using Merrick Canned Chicken Pate. I have 3 cats so I buy 2 cs regularly. Every can is different,some are dry no moisture in can, can is not full, ingredients not mixed in, color is diff. and smell is diff. I never know what I am going to find. I have called Merrick and they are great to apologize and send you a coupon, but that does not stop the situation. Every factory needs to have GOOD QUALITY CONTROL. I have tossed many cans in the trash. Now I have to start all over again to find food my 3 finicky cats will eat. I cannot recommend Merrick at all, I have given them lot numbers, batch #, and they say all the processing places do their own thing.Others have written about mold and plastic inside the cans. They also told me that Purina is leaving them alone and will not intervene on the Merrick production.

    • Carol October 31, 2015 at 1:59 am #

      Possibly because they use meat which cats should be eating is why different looks and consistency. A little fat at the top of the can is normal and I thought there we’re little pieces of chicken or turkey in it. I’ve tried both chicken and turkey.

  19. Carol October 27, 2015 at 10:15 am #

    Hello. Am having trouble with one of my cats heaving Natural Balance turkey canned, which is all she was eating, every time. They did sell the company and many are complaining that the ingredients have changed for the worse – yes we can tell and certainly so can the cats. The rest of my clan are pretty much eating anything Weruva shredded chicken and turkey but the one tossing the NB won’t eat Weruva. I think I might need to find a decent pate style for her. Just thought I’d mention about NB food turning for the worse. I am not risking any more health problems and vet bills from inferior food and companies that could care less. BTW I weaned them off of dry years ago. Thanks for reading!

    • Lisa October 27, 2015 at 10:38 am #

      I’m not surprised, unfortunately (and sorry your kitty is having digestive upset). I used to work for the company (as a demo rep via pet food retail stores) several years ago. One of the general mgrs told me, several months after the company merged with Del Monte (now Big Hearts Pet Food), that he and other GM’s visited one of the NB plants and that the facility was “so disgusting” that several GM’s “no longer wanted to recommend the food to customers.”

      I resigned a few months thereafter, I could no longer promote a food I wouldn’t feel comfortable feeding my own cats.

      From what I had heard, there were quite a few higher ups at NB that resigned after they merged with Del Monte.

      They have since merged or been bought out by Smuckers. I noticed recently that some of their canned food diets now contain meal, e.g., the LID venison has “venison meal” – they never used to include meals in their canned foods.

      Such a pity. Good luck with finding a replacement.

      • Carol October 27, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

        Thanks for the replies. She is trying Wild Calling turkey and chicken; so far so good. Interesting inside info too. Heard Merrick bought by Purina but they have documentation they aren’t touching how Merrick operates since they have huge success and increase in profit assume due to food success with pets. And Purina wanted to break into that market. Makes sense if they don’t interfere since Purina has a different price point and customer base.

        • Lisa October 27, 2015 at 6:02 pm #

          Great – I’m glad it’s working out with WC and that you’ve found something that works.

          When Merrick first started out they had just a few formulas. They did well, expanded, could not keep up with demand and ended up in big-time debt. In comes Purina to the rescue … I guess those who use the product can only hope things remain the same, but nothing ever does anyway, such a tangled web this industry weaves. I don’t trust Purina though one bit, based on their history – there’s a current lawsuit against Nestle Purina / Fancy Feast for partnering up with Thai Union which apparently is using slave labor, including young boys, to catch fish for FF’s seafood formulas.

          This industry is like cable TV channels – there are hundreds of channels but only a handful worth watching, same with pet food, only a few that can be trusted, imho.

          • Carol October 27, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

            Many thanks for the reply. Keep my fingers crossed for our pets sake! I have a knowledgeable pet store owner (PetValu) who helps out a lot,

    • Effie A. October 27, 2015 at 10:40 am #

      I’ve heard natural balance batches have been iffy as well, it could be after years off that brand can cause issues which is great to have rotations. I heard nature variety limited ingredient turkey can be good to try, I do lotus as my picky cat loves it but can be expensive as I know you have multiple cats. Duck could be an option to consider as well. Glad you got your cats off dry, my Stoney is on wet food only too.

  20. jeffw October 17, 2015 at 11:37 am #

    Kidney Cats need low phosphorus foods; low sodium; high quality orotein; some of these foods with great ingredients also have phosphorus levels off the charts?! Also not recommended for cats to have a lot of seafood.

  21. Lisa October 12, 2015 at 8:32 am #

    Forgot to mention Merrick’s new LID diet, for those who are looking for single protein only diets avoiding both chicken and eggs. Merrick mislabeled two of their canned products, the LID duck and LID turkey. The front of the labels on both products state “single protein” however, both use dried egg product as the fifth ingredient.

    “Is it dried duck egg product or dried turkey egg product” I asked Merrick after contacting them about their mislabeled product, knowing full well it was likely chicken egg.

    “Oops, we pawsitively regret the error! We are working on making the duck food and turkey single protein.”

    Who does your labels, Mickey Mouse?

    Given that some cats are allergic to both chicken and eggs, I find that really irresponsible of Merrick. Food allergies can be serious, leading to secondary infections from scratching.

    Some people won’t take the time to peruse the ingredient list, they’ll just look at the front labels or ask sales associates for advice on single protein foods.

    If Merrick really cared about the well being of cats, they would have issued a voluntary recall on both of their mislabeled products.

    • Effie A. October 12, 2015 at 9:02 am #

      True, I had that issue with Merrick as my cat is allergic to chicken and thanks for also sharing your info which confirmed my suspicion. Tiki sounds great and was highly recommended, but when I checked it out, mostly fish and chicken (those two I have to avoid). Sadly, I wish there were a product or several that appeal to all IBD cats and dogs, but as we see some fare better while others fare worst when such same product. Like I notice the weruva duck and steak frites, wild calling turkey and bison, hounds and gatos varieties, and nature logic varieties except fish and chicken, primal raw turkey and duck I think – my cat hated them all (he is my expensive fur baby lol), and did suffer IBD, itching, etc.. He did okay with Nature Variety Limited ingredient duck and turkey but didn’t love it as much.

      I notice the ones he seemed to love and thrived on with no reaction, or digestive issues was: Go! Cat Duck pate, oddly, ziwipeak all varieties except fish ones, and lotus turkey. Made me so happy! I am glad your cat has no reaction and is thriving on the food you found best for him/her. By the way, nice conversing with you 🙂

      • Lisa October 20, 2015 at 9:40 am #

        Thanks for the info. 🙂

        I decided to give Impulse / Halo a try, despite the agar agar, I will keep an open mind and see how it goes. Both cats really like the guinea hen although they both have allergies (bad digestive with chicken) so I’ll see about the GH. I may keep it on hand though.

        I realize that just having one company to depend on, Instinct – b/c it’s gum free, really limits my possibilities.

        One cat is fussy and we have a vet visit pending due to weight loss (lost weight on Primal freeze dried and she was not overweight to begin with, only 12 lbs and now down to 8 – 9 lbs). Blood work hopefully will give us answers.

        She won’t eat Primal any longer and that’s okay actually, until we get blood work, I’m not comfortable with ground bone.

        Voracious appetite, hoping it’s not hyperT or kidney, both of which I’ve dealt with, she’s so young.

        I’m glad to hear that you know IBD cats who are managing okay with agar agar. I agree re: gums, especially guar gum. On Dr. Pierson’s catinfo, under “making cat food”, she states that she will actually add a small does of guar gum to her homemade recipes if any of her cats are constipated. She has a photo of feces produced with too much guar gum and says, “this is not what we want” and then goes to describe the right dose of guar gum.

        So that suggests guar gum does have a laxative effect – imagine some of these companies that use guar gum and it’s up high on their ingredient list, that may have a negative effect on some cats.

        Probably best to avoid guar gum although I just opened a can of Merrick’s LID duck and kitty loved it, (despite my frustration with their mislabeled products which they still haven’t corrected).

        Anyway, nice chatting with you as well.

  22. Lisa October 12, 2015 at 8:09 am #

    Ziwi Peak replaced the carrageenan with agar agar, another seaweed derived thickener. While it may not be as bad as carrageenan, it can still cause digestive upset in some cats and dogs, especially those that are dealing with IBD.

    • Effie A. October 12, 2015 at 8:20 am #

      It depends as most that replaced the Carrageenan, they did it with agar agar which is often confused with the above but it is a different processing and chemical breakdown and was found to be less of an issue of IBD and other health problem possibilities with lots of positives. I notic other friends’ whose cats and dogs that have worst IBD or intestinal problems severely limiting their intake tend to better on food that are mostly novel protein with agar agar like ziwipeak and lotus, they thrived and sustain their healthy weight without pain, also to make note, these brands also don’t have any gums as well which could be the contributing factor rather agar agar in IBD

      • Lisa October 12, 2015 at 8:38 am #

        Okay, I’ve read conflicting info on agar agar, from people whose cats do either have IBD (and had a reaction from Lotus’ turkey or other. (My own cat has IBD but has been symptom-free for months.)

        We do both raw and canned, however, I only use Insticnt bc it’s one of the few that are gum free, other than Tiki Cat Gourmet Carnivore, however, the olive oil in TCGC gave both my cats horrible diarrhea.

        • Effie A. October 12, 2015 at 9:15 am #

          Didn’t click the reply button here as I left a response comment and it is at the bottom of page, nice to meet fellow persons that feel our pets are equally deserving of respect and care as well as love as we are, unlike others I’ve come across that think we are just spoiling their issues.

  23. Bee October 6, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    I love your blog! I want to be a vet someday, this is a great website and if you like cats this is a wonderful place to learn about them! Also I am starting a blog myself and this will help me thanks 😀 !

  24. mcloney10 October 5, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

    Thank you *so much* for this list! I have a young kitten, a senior (obese) cat, and one with urinary blockage issues. I started looking into the best wet foods because I want to get my one cat off the Urinary SO, which isn’t natural nor nutritionally balanced. I’d also like to help my fat guy lose some weight. The answers seem to lie in an all wet food diet that is high in meat protein, low carb, and low phosphorus. I’ve read through catinfo.org (great info!) and your list will help me a lot when I’m at the pet store!

    • Effie A. October 5, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

      Mcloney, yes all wet diet is the best along with a water fountain to encourage water, I would recommend looking at chewy.com if you are limited by your local pet store’s supply as the online site I mention may be more expansive and they have a great 365 day a year return policy if you aren’t satisfied or your cat refuses the food. Also avoid fish based ingredients

    • Linda March 2, 2016 at 11:38 am #

      Mcloney – I am in the exact same position, kitten, older obese (had crystals), and another 2 yr old (had UTI). They are on the prescription diet (not kitten). I just ordered a variety of the Wild Calling to mix/transition them over. Just curious as to what you found and/or decided to go with?

    • tracyokane March 26, 2017 at 1:12 pm #

      Feliway Cystease cured my cats idiopathic cystitis, probably caused by stress. He had a normal result on his urine test since he started Cystease. I break open the pill and sprinkle on wet food

  25. Effie A. October 1, 2015 at 8:51 am #

    What about lotus just turkey juicy stew cat canned food in which contains no fish ingredients and or oils and what I like about it is made in US, contains no carrageenan, no gums.

    Also what about Petcurean’s GO! SENSITIVITY + SHINE GRAIN FREE Duck Pâté also doesn’t have carrageenan and often helps cats with digestive issues.

    I brought wild calling turkey and cat refused it as smells like fish which was odd and some debate has come up regarding how or I should say who manufactures wild calling — Evangers

  26. MH September 30, 2015 at 6:40 am #

    I was super excited about Wild Calling when I first learned about it–especially since they carried buffalo, a novel protein–but according to this pet store site, it’s manufactured and packed by Evanger’s. And since Evanger’s record has been spotty, it might be worth reassessing or making a note.

    • Liz October 3, 2015 at 8:04 am #

      Thanks for mentioning this. I have incorporated this note above and on the best cat foods page: “Readers have reported a rumor (not confirmed as yet) that Wild Calling and Holistic Select use the Evanger’s Illinois plant for canning their formulas. Personally, I don’t consider this a big risk, but some are uncomfortable with it. In 2010, Evangers was found by the FDA to be using dishonest practices *in their own formulas*. While this is appalling, it had nothing to do with their plant’s *canning* of other small brands. And, it has been corrected. In my opinion, Wild Calling and Holistic Select have too many good features to overlook because they need to use one on of the few available US pet food canning plants (Evangers) to package their food.”

      • Effie A. October 3, 2015 at 9:14 am #

        I agree as I did like the ingredients and despite the possible connection to Evangers, still gave them a try, but sadly my finicky cat didn’t care for it, so I tried lotus and he was hooked (just turkey as the only main meat protein ingredient as mentioned in other comment along with go! Duck pate).

        I am glad, the mentioning of Evangers is made a note to let others know but I would also like other items listed to make note that most have chicken mentioned in the ingredients except ziwipeak (cat loves them!) and this can be a allergic no no for some cats like the halo quail which got me excited, but sadly it has chicken in it. Love halo brand though! What is the difference between halo vigor and implulse? Is it because one is grain free and the other isn’t?

        • MonkeyBiscuits (@ceoltori) November 13, 2015 at 6:14 am #

          My cats liked the Wild Calling Trot’nTommy which is turkey based. They also really like Lotus pates, but I don’t feed it as much because of the ocean fish. Also, just tried Bravo’s new canned foods this past week and my cats were kind of meh about it. I’m curious why Weruva’s Paw Licking Chicken isn’t on the list. It appears to be free of carageenan. With 4 cats I appreciate that it comes in a larger can and my cats seem to like it.

          • Effie A. November 13, 2015 at 7:10 am #

            I checked and maybe try the just juicy turkey stew version from lotus as it does not contain any fish ingredients in which was confusing when I saw The top list and it mentioned lotus as having lots of fish, maybe some varieties do, but it appears lotus is listening and offering some without fish at all as I think the just pork one also doesn’t have fish at all.

          • MonkeyBiscuits (@ceoltori) November 13, 2015 at 8:59 am #

            Maybe you could rotate the pates with the Just Juicy. My cats liked the Lotus pates but not so much the Just Juicy, but each one of my cats has different tastes so yours may love them. They certainly appear to be good stuff.

        • Bonnie January 28, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

          For some reason my cat who was the only one out of four that liked Wild calling won’t eat it anymore. I found she will eat MUSE and I think made by the Wellness people. What do think of this?

      • Effie A. October 3, 2015 at 9:33 am #

        Also sorry for lots of comments, I’m confused over the d2 vs d3 vitamin debate because I notice hounds and gatos misprint brought this up but ziwipeak also uses d2 and so does impulse halo quail, so it doesn’t mean d2 are necessarily bad?

        • Effie A. October 3, 2015 at 10:02 am #

          Scratch the ziwipeak as I checked my cat food cabinet (the venison, lamb/rabbit, and beef uses d3) while I was originally looking at chewy.com and will call them to let them know they have a misprint on their ingredient list. Not sure about halo, maybe someone can confirm as never brought this can variety before. Thank you and forgive me for so much comments as I strongly am one of y’all that want to feed the best possible for our fur babies and I have learned so much last year thanks to you and the reviewers

          • MH October 6, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

            I saw Liz’s note on D2 vs D3 for Hound and Gatos and proceeded to scour the internet for credible sources on vitamin D2 vs. D3 for cats–the best source I’ve turned up is one study published back in 2002: “Cats discriminate between cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol” by a researcher at University of California, Davis. You can read the abstract here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15379909

            Cholecalciferol is Vitamin D3. Ergocalciferol is Vitamin D2. Basically, the study shows that cat DNA receptors are more receptive/have an easier time binding/synthesizing Vitamin D3 over Vitmain D2. Specifically, cats synthesize D2 with an efficiency of 0.7 of that of D3. Or, cats can synthesize Vitamin D2 only at 70% the efficiency they do with D3.

            I’m guessing this might be the source of Liz’s standards regarding Vitamin D3 vs D2. It looks like H&G and Ziwipeak are all now carrying D3 instead of D2, but my guess is there probably isn’t too much harm in having foods with D2 in rotation with other foods with D3. 70% efficiency vs. 100% efficiency for vitamin D synthesis might not be too bad in the general scheme of things.

          • Sandi Colburn October 7, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

            I’m confused also about Vit D2 vs D3 and went to look at the ingredients on Halo’s Impulse label. The label on both foods lists D2, not D3….

          • donald May 17, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

            Ziwipeak has changed to D2. The biggest issue with Ziwipeak is Tetrasodium Pryophosphate. It is a synthetic chemical emulsier that is toxic. I was quite exclusive with the Ziwipeak but have very recently discontinued it. I see it also now in KOHA (formerly Mauri).

          • EffieA. May 17, 2016 at 3:42 pm #

            Hello Donald, thought so but was confirmed by the ziwipeak company that they don’t and they use d3 and my new cans confirm that as well, problem is other vendor sites don’t update or verify the ingredient lists and they too confirm they can get the ingredients wrong and won’t update even if told about any errors. In terms of that ingredient you mentioned, I was initially concern but mostly it can be a mineral and for some cats cause diarrhea if have any issues, however I also found this in many top rated and even some raw food listings, it can vary across any pet but my Stoney thrived on their food and his allergies and issues all went away. I also do just juicy lotus turkey or pork too. Ziwipeak is one of the top rated and 65% Raw in their canned moist

          • EffieA. May 17, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

            Forgot to mention I’ll still check the brand you mention some had fish or some oil of it, which I must avoid but the bush tail etc sounds interesting and thank you

          • EffieA. May 18, 2016 at 9:01 am #

            To everyone just again how ziwipeak listens to its customers that value their pets and want the best possible for them, ziwipeak recently no longer has Tetrasodium Pryophosphate in their ingredients for cats moist Canned food. I’m glad as I didn’t really want to take away Stoney fav brand although I do like to introduce other brands as well

          • donald May 19, 2016 at 7:23 pm #

            I understand they claim labeling errors over the Vit D confusion. However, I just heard from them. They have not announced any change regarding TSSP and fully admit the reason they include it.

          • Lisa M. May 19, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

            I don’t trust ZP any more, unfortunately, I won’t recommend the brand in the store where I work and I haven’t used their products in a while. One would expect a company like e.g., Nutro, to use tetrasodium pyrophosphate (in some of their products) but not ZP. Why do they need a flavor enhancer? Actually, when ZP was using carrageenan they did not have TSPP. Mauri (now Koha) also uses TSPP in some of their canned formulas.
            Also Effie, I am not aware of any commercial raw product that uses TSPP. Maybe you are thinking of montmorillonite clay, which is used by NV and Primal, but not TSPP.

          • EffieA. May 19, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

            Hmm this makes it all confusing. Yep I checked with ziwipeak, they confirm to use D3, so that is good. In regards to tetrasodium pyrophosphatoe, they say they are in the process in finding alternatives, but who knows when and if that will happen, however my cat is thriving and no allergies. I tried to find koha but not easy as I shop online such as chewy.com as I’m limited in Accessibility and don’t know where to locate it, any other brands (as long as no fish and chicken and other negatives) recommended to keep an open eye out for? And would I find them online as well as what sites? Thank you

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